President Donald Trump's pick for Secretary of Labor, CKE Restaurants CEO Andy Puzder — who withdrew his nomination for the position Wednesday — has previously said that, in some ways, robots made better employees than people.
"They're always polite, they always upsell, they never take a vacation, they never show up late, there's never a slip-and-fall, or an age, sex, or race discrimination case," Puzder previously said in an interview with Business Insider.
Puzder withdrew his name from consideration as Labor secretary on Wednesday, after more Republican Senate members pulled their support from him. Democrats have argued that Puzder will not advocate for workers, citing his statements opposing minimum wage increase, alleged wage violations at his restaurants and his promotion of automation.
In the Business Insider interview, Puzder said he was open to automation in his restaurants, especially with the rising cost of employees due to increases in minimum wage.
However, he said it was unlikely that machines could ever replace kitchen jobs at his Carl's Jr. and Hardee's stores, Puzder said. He also noted older customers may not be as open to a non-human experience, but said millennials liked "not seeing people" and would be open to the machines.